Base Requirements

  • Races: Any
  • Sub-Classes: Barbarian
  • Ability Requirements: None
  • Alignments: Any
  • Starting Cash: 3d4 gp

Weapon Proficiencies

  • Weapon Slots: By class
  • Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
  • Required Weapon Proficiencies: Short Bow
  • Allowed Weapons: By class
  • Allowed Armors: Studded Leather or lighter, Any Shield

Non-Weapon Proficiencies:

  • Non-weapon Slots: By class
  • Available Categories: By class
  • Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Bowyer/Fletcher, Land-based Riding
  • Required Proficiencies: Survival (Plains or Desert)
  • Recommended Proficiencies: Alertness, Animal Handling, Animal Rending, Animal Training, Athletics, Charge, Danger Sense, Direction Sense, Dodge, Fasting, Hiding, Hunting, Leatherworking, Light Sleeping, Looting, Signaling, Tracking, Wild Fighting.
  • Forbidden Proficiencies: none

Overview: A skilled horseman and master of the bow, the Plainsrider roams the wilderness in search of war. He achieves status through combat, honoring the spirits of his ancestors by killing his enemies. He shuns armor in favor of garish body paint, wears a feather headdress over his flowing hair, and terrorizes his enemies with blood-curdling war cries.

The Erakka of The Ride include many Plaindriders among their number.

Description: A Plainsrider typically wears a leather loincloth, leather moccasins, and a rabbit-skin robe to protect him from the cold. He may trade or barter for armor and a shield, but won’t wear armor better than leather. This armor is usually made of deer or buffalo hide, decorated with feathers and strips of rabbit skin. A Plainsrider prefers edged and piercing weapons to those that merely bludgeon.

Role-Playing: Though he usually belongs to a large tribe, the Plainsrider’s ethos stresses individualism and self-reliance; he leaves his tribe for years at a time to gain experience in the outworld. He may align himself with any adventuring party that provides him with opportunities to test himself as a warrior.

The Plainsrider’s companions may find him a man of contradictions. He enjoys his independence, yet cooperates with those who share his love of war. Though distant and withdrawn, he quickly comforts a distressed friend. Because he reveres the natural world, he avoids harming innocent animals unless he needs food or skins. He believes that inanimate objects have spirits; he may offer prayers to a mountain, ask a river for courage, or sing a song of thanks to a tree.

On the battlefield, the Plainsrider fights with unnerving pragmatism. Not only does he slay his enemies, he burns their homes, destroys their weapons, and sets fire to their crops. He tries to eradicate all traces of fallen enemies, so that no one will find the remains and seek vengeance against the Plainsrider.

Special Abilities:

  • A Plainsrider begins with the following equipment, free of charge: a wild horse (his primary mount), a horse blanket, two applications of war paint (choose the colors randomly), and a coup stick. The coup (“koo”) stick is a shaft of wood three feet long, with a bundle of eagle feathers tied to one end. Should the Plainsrider lose his coup stick, he can make another if he obtains eagle feathers and a stick of wood from his home terrain.
  • A Plainsrider earns the normal amount of experience points for defeating opponents. He also earns a 10% bonus if he proves his courage by ”counting coup,” touching the opponent sometime during a dangerous encounter. To qualify for the bonus, the Plainsrider must maneuver within range and touch the opponent with his coup stick or his bare hand (make a normal attack roll; the touch inflicts no damage). The opponent must be actively dangerous, and the touch must involve genuine risk. The DM may veto the bonus if the Plainsrider takes exceptional measures to protect himself (such as turning invisible or hiding behind his horse).
  • Once per day, the Plainsrider can emit a war cry, a series of piercing shrieks and whoops intended to terrify his opponents. A war cry lasts for one round. All creatures within 100 feet of the Plainsrider (except his mount, the Plainsrider’s companions, and his companions’ mounts) may be affected by the war cry. Creatures with less than 1 Hit Die automatically respond as if affected by a fear spell, fleeing from the Plainsrider as fast as they can for 1d4 rounds. All other creatures and characters must make individual saving throws vs. spells. If a throw succeeds, the character or creature suffers no ill effects. If the throw fails, the creature suffers a -2 penalty to its morale and a -1 penalty to all attack and damage rolls for the next 2d6 rounds.
  • When riding his primary mount, the Plainsrider gains the following benefits. If the Plainsrider’s primary mount is slain or lost, he may trade for, capture, or steal a new horse. Initially, the new horse acts as a normal mount. After the horse has been in the Plainsrider’s company for a week, it bonds with him and becomes his new primary mount.
    • The primary mount never panics as long as the Plainsrider remains mounted.
    • He gains a +1 bonus to his attack rolls against all creatures smaller than his mount (that is, all medium-sized and smaller creatures).
    • He gains a +2 bonus to all land-based riding proficiency checks.
  • When using his a short bow, the Plainsrider gains the following benefits:
    • He can fire one additional arrow per round. This stacks with the increased rate of fire granted by specialization, a haste spell, or other similar effects.
    • He reduces the penalties for attacks at medium or long range by 2.
    • When riding his primary mount, he suffers no penalties to his attack rolls for mounted archery.

Special Disadvantages:

  • Though a Plainsrider eats grains, vegetables, and fruits from any source, he only eats animals that he kills himself. Likewise, he only wears clothing or armor from animals he himself has slain. After he kills the animal, he apologizes to the corpse. He then makes an Intuition check. If the check succeeds, he determines that the animal’s spirit has accepted his apology; he then allows himself to eat the flesh or use the skin. If the check fails, he decides that the animal‘s spirit has rejected his apology (he sees the corpse twitch, notices the sky darken, or hears an owl hoot in the distance). He abandons the corpse; others may use the flesh or fur if they wish.
    If a Plainsrider intentionally eats the flesh or wears the skin of an animal he hasn’t killed, he suffers a -1 penalty to all attack rolls, ability checks, and proficiency checks for the next 1d4+1 days.
  • The Plainsrider has a pathological fear of undead. In any encounter with one or more undead, he must make a saving throw vs. paralysis. If the check succeeds, he summons the willpower to fight the undead, but does so with a -2 penalty to his attack roll. If the check fails, he reacts as if affected by a fear spell, fleeing at top speed for 1d4 rounds. If cornered, he may fight to protect himself, but suffers the aforementioned penalties.

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